The Martrou ferry bridge in Echillais appears twice in Les demoiselles de Rochefort. The building inaugurated in 1900 opens and closes in majesty the feature film of Jacques Demy.
In the opening sequence, the bridge carries the truck of Etienne (George Chakiris) and Bill (Grover Dale), showmen, but also five motorcycles, and two riders on white horses. This imposing caravan has to go to Rochefort for the big fair of the city.
For the final scene, the convoy of fairground vendors leaves Rochefort in the direction of the ferry bridge. Etienne and Bill welcome in their truck Delphine (Catherine Deneuve) and Josette (Geneviève Thénier) to go to Paris. In reality, this direction is not possible using the iron and steel building. They are joined by Maxence (Jacques Perrin), demobilized from the army, bundle on his back. He too climbs into the vehicle.
To make the bridge, built on the plans of Fernand Arnodin, even more pop, Bernard Evein, the chief decorator, would have wanted to repaint it in pink. “Too expensive”, exclaimed the producers. To get there, tourists can take Jacques-Demy Avenue.
Michel Legrand composed the music for 4 films by Jacques Demy: Lola, Les parapluies de Cherbourg, Les demoiselles de Rochefort and Peau d’âne.
Le pont transbordeur du Martrou spanning the Charente is located in the commune of Echillais in Charente-Maritime.
Inaugurated in 1900 on the plans of Ferdinand Arnodin, the Martrou ferry bridge is 175.5 m long, 8 m wide and 50 m high.
Made of iron, steel and wood, it allowed to cross the river in 75 seconds (excluding the time of embarkation and disembarkation). In particular cattle, horses, carriages… then vehicles such as cars.
It was renovated in 2016. It can therefore accommodate tourists for an original ride.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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By Damien Canteau
Passionné par l'Histoire, les animés, les Arts et la bande dessinée en particulier, Damien est le rédacteur en chef du site spécialisé dans le 9e art, Comixtrip.